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Entries in money (2)

Sunday
Feb052017

Decluttered and cashed up 

 

As my declutter mission continues I’ve found a huge bonus in getting rid of things in my life that I don’t use anymore.  I’ve saved myself a stack of cash.

It started with my Amex card which I haven’t used in two years.  I’ve had it for over 15 years but held on to it in case of emergencies (hello What If Girl) … also I really liked the combination of my lucky numbers on it.  I rang to cancel and had a lovely chat to the customer service woman, explaining that I signed up for it when I was married – but that had ended years ago.  She looked at my file and said “yes, it looks like your relationship with us lasted a lot longer than your marriage did”.  Ha, true so very true.  That declutter (my card, not my husband) saved me $80 a year in fees – that’s about 15 x skinny lattes. 

Other things I rarely use included my stove (ha, just joking) and my home phone.  I have it mainly to call my parents but now Mum has a new plan where she can call me for free (bonus) so I can ditch the landline too.

I called my friends at Optus and a lovely man with a cute Mexican accent talked me through my current bundle of home phone and internet.  As I stuffed my face with sushi (I was multi tasking during lunch) he found a better plan and saved me over $700 per year … aka 160 x skinny lattes.  I love Optus.  We’ve been together for 18 years.  I’m a big fan of loyalty – can you tell? 

Next stop was my life insurance and all the grown up stuff I hate paying for but might need one day.  When I worked with a financial planning group, they instilled in me the importance of setting myself up financially for the future – and protecting my assets – with superannuation, death and disability insurance and income protection.  Classic products for the community of What If’s.  

I rang my broker / friend Rick and explained the angst I felt every time the insurance company deducted hundreds of dollars from my bank account every month.  Surely I could put it to better use?   Extra mortgage payments.  Top up my super.  A new handbag?

As a single girl, I told him, I didn’t have any dependents – except for Asha the cat and her decadent lifestyle – so surely I didn’t need as much cover.   Also, I protested, if it all went to shit and I couldn’t work, I’d just move back to Rads and move in with Mum and Dad.   They’d love that.   Imagine the hilarious blogs I could write about chickens and country living. 

To my surprise, he didn’t try and talk me out of it, but checked all my policies and we found that combined with my work insurance I was a little ‘over-covered’ and we could remove some of the plans I had.  Awesome.  No point in leaving more money than necessary to the Spoilt Cats Society.  He recalculated and it looks like I’ll be saving over $3,500 a year.  That’s a LOT of skinny lattes. 

Sure I promised him I’d put it towards my mortgage but I really do need a new handbag.  That’s a good investment of my hard earned cash, right ladies?

Alternatively I could buy myself a coffee machine and make my own skinny lattes, but what’s the point of that.  I’m rich now, I could hire my own hot barista. 

Saturday
Jun112016

It's only money, right?  

I’ve had a bad week with money.  I feel like a human ATM, handing out cash all over the place.  Money for stuff that is important, but really, I’d rather be spending on fun stuff.

It started two weeks ago with my side mirror.  Read my previous blog about my inability to adult (and drive) to find out what happened.  A total sum of $600 to get that little piece of my car fixed.  Apparently paint matching for fancy electric mirrors is quite expensive.  Who knew?

A trip to the dentist on Tuesday saw me having two small fillings (the result of a little bit of over brushing and gum wearing) and a root canal on my credit card.  I go to the dentist every six months so not sure how I ended up agreeing to x-rays (my last were apparently two years ago) and a full clean.  I also paid a small fortune for the anaesthetic but really who wants to spend an hour in a dental chair undrugged?  Not me.  Luckily I love my Dentist so I didn’t stab him when he handed me a bill for $724.   I’m now grinning madly at strangers with my perfect teeth to get my money’s worth.

Wednesday rolled around and I dropped off my car for a service.  It was a little overdue but it seemed to be running okay.   What would I know?  The lovely Service Consultant Nicole informed me that I had a leaking water pump and a loose oil seal (or something like that).  If I had all the work done in one go I could save HOURS under warranty which would mean a much lower bill.  You’re very sweet Nicole but I wonder how much worse it would have been than the $1,486 bill you gave me.  You know I drive a Ford Fiesta and not a Porsche right?

I must say, Jett (my car) does run better than ever.   That’s what I tell myself so I don’t feel so ripped off.

Since the Service Team had to keep my car for so long, they were nice enough to let me take a loan car.  I love Jett but it was quite a novelty to drive a family wagon.  They gave me a Ford Kuga – a mid size 4WD designed for kids and suburbs not rolling mountain getaways.  The coolest part was that the engine would turn itself off every time you were stationary.  As a greenie, that gave me a little thrill.  Sad, huh?

After a long day in the office I pulled into our gated carpark as I do every night.  One of the new tenants drives a long white van with a massive bull bar on the front.  Carefully I pulled in, checking that I wouldn’t hit the bull bar. 

Unfortunately I wasn’t paying attention to the other side of the car and scraped the whole side of the Kuga along the gate.  It was one of those awesome moments when you hit something and are not sure whether to reverse or just push ahead.  I closed my eyes and moved forward as an orchestra of paint and metal scraped together, syncing with the sounds of me swearing “Fck, Fck, Fck” like Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Thankfully lovely Nicole at the Service Centre had highlighted the $1,500 excess I’d be required to pay for any damage to the loan car.  I remember her circling it three times for effect as I thought “well I won’t need to worry about that, will I?”  Again, I was wrong.

Ah, life is funny isn’t it?  How it just loves to throw you a bunch of shit all at the same time? 

I survived that horror fortnight and now have my Ford Fiesta back, running perfectly and looking all clean and shiny with it’s new mirror.  Lovely Nicole is processing my insurance paperwork and my teeth are looking better than ever.

On the bright side, I’ll be getting a stack of Qantas Frequent Flyer points from all the credit card transactions I’ve made lately.   God knows I need a holiday.  Think I’ll fly somewhere – not sure a road trip where I have to drive is a good idea right now.